Batter Licker

October 26, 2010

october feast: warm potato salad with bratwurst and kale in creamy mustard sauce

October might be on its way out the door, but that only gives me another reason to have a final hurrah in the form of an October feast. And what’s a better way to do that than with a colorful, flavorful, one-pot (and one foil sheet) warm potato salad with bratwurst and kale in creamy but spicy mustard sauce?

Traditional Oktoberfest meals are always so flavorful, but also so … brown. Nothing against brown food, but with plenty of options for colorful veggie add-ins, I can’t quite understand why fall feasts systematically embrace such monochromatic earth tones.

Here, I used a trio of mini potatoes to add an unbelievable zap of color, from the creamy light yellow flesh of the standard fingerling to the pink peel and bright white flesh of the red thumb fingerling to the dark purple peel and bright purple flesh of the purple majesty. All three held their coloring after roasting and developed slightly different flavors and creamy textures perfect for a potato salad.

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The bratwurst added the only brown note to this autumnal, German-inspired dish, and after browning, the fresh, meaty sausage became more tender and developed a more complex flavor profile as it sauteed in beer with onions and dill.

Thin slices of kale provided this hearty one-pot meal with a pop of green and a plethora of vitamins and nutrients, though spinach or chard would work just as well.

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All these colorful ingredients cooked together in a creamy yet spicy mustard sauce that really lent the dish its Oktoberfest feel. You could even add a heaping spoonful or two of sauerkraut to pump up the German element, as sauerkraut would go swimmingly well with brats, taters, and mustard sauce.

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Colorful yet full of fall flavor, this warm potato, bratwurst and kale salad will fill you up and keep you in a festive mood, especially if you pair it with my favorite beer, Samuel AdamsĀ® Octoberfest. And if you serve it on the first truly chilly fall evening (that was last Tuesday, October 19th, for those of you not in San Francisco), this potato salad might even prompt your long-time significant other to pace around the apartment all evening while you cook, play the Pandora music station he created just for you, light a romantic fire in the fireplace, snuggle with you on the couch, and, if you stop talking for just a few seconds, ask you to spend the rest of your life with him.

You heard me correctly: serve this dinner, and you might suddenly find yourself engaged.

Warm Potato Salad with Bratwurst and Kale in Creamy Mustard Sauce
Serves 3 to 4

To make this vegan, omit the bratwurst, use olive oil instead of butter, vegetable stock instead of chicken broth, and soy yogurt instead of Greek yogurt. It will still taste delicious, even without the bratwurst.

2 1/2 c. tiny potatoes
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
3/4 tsp. ground black pepper, divided, plus more to taste
1 Tbsp. butter
12 oz. bratwurst sausages (I used pork; chicken versions will also do)
1 medium red onion, chopped
4 tsp. chopped fresh dill, divided
3/4 c. low-sodium chicken broth, divided
1/2 c. Samuel AdamsĀ® Octoberfest beer, other lager, or white wine
3 Tbsp. Greek yogurt or sour cream
3 Tbsp. spicy German mustard (or, in my case, spicy French mustard), plus more for serving
1/2 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves very thinly sliced and cut into 1-inch long strips (about 1 c. raw, packed)

Heat oven to 450F. Toss mini potatoes with olive oil, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Pour onto a sheet of foil, folding foil in half and cinching the edges to create a foil envelope enclosing the potatoes. Place on baking sheet, and roast for 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add sausage, and stirring occasionally, cook until browned, approximately 5 minutes. Add 1/4 c. broth, 1/4 c. beer, 2 tsp. dill, 1/4 tsp. black pepper, and chopped onion. Cook until onions turn soft and slightly golden, approximately 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, and cook an additional 5 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk 1/2 c. broth, 1/4 c. beer (or white wine), yogurt, and mustard until smooth. Add mixture and kale strips to pot. Increase heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until thickened, approximately 5 minutes.

Halve the roasted tomatoes, and add potatoes to pot. Cook for another 5 minutes, and remove from heat.

Spoon into bowls, and sprinkle with remaining dill. Serve hot, with additional hot mustard on the side for spicy food freaks like me and a large glass of beer.


  1. Congratulations! This looks way better than that silly engagement chicken!

    Comment by Amber — October 26, 2010 @ 4:20 pm

  2. Congrats again! Looks yummy. Can I request your take on butternut or pumpkin ravioli? I tried this weekend and used like 3 different recipes for inspiration, but would love your input!

    Comment by Annie — October 26, 2010 @ 5:51 pm

  3. Thank you! And I too never understood Ina Garten’s insistence on calling a silly roasted chicken “Engagement Chicken” … same goes for Rachael Ray’s “You Won’t Be Single For Long Vodka Cream Pasta Sauce.”

    Comment by Kristen — October 26, 2010 @ 6:18 pm

  4. Thanks Annie! As for your request, were you thinking regular ravioli stuffed with butternut squash or pumpkin? Or having the actual ravioli noodle made with squash/pumpkin and stuffed with a complementary herb-cheese mixture?

    Comment by Kristen — October 26, 2010 @ 6:20 pm

  5. I was thinking regular pasta filled with squash or pumpkin. I found one recipe that called for ricotta, molases, and nutmeg, but I felt like something was missing. I’m happy to forward along what I found. Also I tried wonton wrappers which worked nicely, but do you have a trick to keep them from sticking???

    Comment by Annie — October 27, 2010 @ 4:50 pm

  6. Email me the recipe(s), and I’ll take a peek; also let me know via email at what stage in the prep/cooking the wrappers were sticking.

    Comment by Kristen — October 28, 2010 @ 11:18 pm

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